The Atlanta Falcons host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football to open Week 14 of the NFL season. The Falcons are favored by 2.5 in a game that has seen a lot of probability movement. The line opened in Falcons -2 and turned to Saints -1.5. Then, in a burst on Thursday, the line returned to Atlanta -2.5.
The Over-Under, or the total number of points Vegas believes will be scored, has also seen a lot of movement. It's a sturdy 51.5, a 3.5 from where it opened.
Before making any bet on Saints-Falcons, you'll want to know what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say. He will help you navigate the dramatic line movements that we have already seen.
In week 2, he left 2.5 points with Atlanta against visiting Green Bay. The result: Falcons 34, Packers 23. In week 9, Atlanta vanished as a point favorite in Carolina, charging one more time after the three-point Panthers victory.
Surprisingly, those calls helped improve their record to 10-2 in selections for or against the Falcons since the start of last season. Anyone who has followed their selections is very, very high.
Part of his success: Hartstein was a sports writer based in Atlanta for 15 years. He has his finger on the pulse of Dan Quinn's team.
Now, he's going 11-2 in the Falcons' selections on Thursday night, and he's sharing his selection on SportsLine.
Hartstein knows that the Saints won nine of their last 10 games and scored at least 30 in their last four victories.
Rookie running back Alvin Kamara has scored in six consecutive games and is third in the corridors in receptions with 59, behind only Le & # 39; Veon Bell (66) and Christian McCaffrey (64). Kamara and Mark Ingram form a dynamic 1-2 hit in the backfield.
Ingram suffers from a toe injury, but is expected to play Thursday night. The advanced SportsLine computer model says that Kamara and Ingram will combine nearly 200 total yards of scrimmage against a Falcons defense that is ranked in the bottom half of the league against the race.
And defensively, the Saints could regain the corner of rookie Marshon Lattimore (ankle), which reinforces a defense that is No. 12 in scoring (20.3 points per game) and No. 11 against the pass (217.3 ypg) .
But the fact that the Saints have been on fire does not mean they cover the road in a divisional game in a short week.
The Falcons have won three of their last four games and have accumulated at least 27 points in all three victories. Quarterback Matt Ryan scored multiple points in four of his last six outings.
The SportsLine model says that Ryan will continue shooting in primetime, holding almost 300 yards and two touchdowns. WR Julio Jones has a high chance of finding the end zone this week after a 2-24 shot on Sunday against Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings.
And, like the Saints, the Falcons could also get defensive reinforcements. The top corner Desmond Trufant has been released from his concussion and will play for Atlanta on Thursday night.
The Falcons desperately need a win against the Saints, who have a two-game lead over Atlanta in the NFC South. These two teams meet twice in the next three weeks.
Hartstein is leaning down on Thursday night, but what about the spread, which has made him choose?
Know that there is a large x factor that ultimately determines the winner of the point of difference for Saints-Falcons. And he's sharing it on SportsLine.
So on what side should you be back in Saints-Falcons on "Thursday Night Football?" Visit SportsLine now to see what big factor x determines which side of Saints-Falcons you need to be everywhere, all from the expert who has nailed 10 of your 12 previous Falcons picks, and find out.